Today, I want to talk about working within the confines of our limitations. Now I know how much it sucks to admit that we even have limitations. I know how much I dislike admitting that I can’t do everything people want me to, and how I disappoint people when I admit that I can’t be/create everything people want me to be/create. But the fact is, I do have limitations. And I have other needs that I have to pay attention to. I’m finding that the yoga I’m doing has forced me to recognize that sometimes, I have to make choices.
I can either stay on the computer playing games, or I can get my ass in the bedroom and roll out my yoga mat, and actually go through with the workout if I truly want the benefits the yoga can provide. And I want those benefits.
I’ve been carrying this mindset through in other parts of my life. I made a choice that this week, I am not going to post anything political on Twitter, for at least a week. I’m only going to be posting about my books or my cats or things I love. I need a break from the anger I feel about politics.
I also decided that I need to avoid hanging out on Facebook as much. I’ve cut way back on Twitter, but on my private profile I hang out, talk to personal friends and other authors. I absolutely won’t accept friend requests from people I don’t know, but even cutting down to my personal life is beginning to eat up valuable time. Aimlessly scrolling through my news feed is a waste of time. If I want to contact someone, just drop them a message and boom, done with it.
Because you see, when I put my mind to it I can get my actual writing done a lot faster, and then I can plenty of time for other admin work that must be done. But too often, I waste time and then realize that I have to play catch up, and I end up burning the candle at both ends. And that’s not healthy. So, I need to make choices. And “choice” is another word for imposing limitations on myself.
There’s no shame in admitting that we can’t do everything. In my generation, we were brought up to believe that we could be Superman or Superwoman.
But the only thing that earns you is exhaustion. So, back to making choices.
Do I want to get my work done and be able to go play for a while or do I want to sit and scroll through Facebook, and realize I’ve wasted two hours before I’ve even touched my work? For me, the answer is obvious.
I’m also starting to say no more. “No, thank you but I really don’t want to spend a day doing that.” Or: “No, thank you, but I don’t think that would further my goals if I joined into that project/group.”
All of this is an aspect of mindfulness. And being mindful is vital if you really want to get a handle on your life, if you want to control more of what happens in your life and not feel like you’re being run over by a steamroller. Because quite often, we’ve handed the keys to the driver of the steamroller and just stood there and let them flatten us. When we refuse to stand up for ourselves, we are as much as fault is those who walk all over us.
So, I’m taking time to think before I answer. I’m taking time to decide what’s more important to me. And then I’m acting on those decisions.
What are you doing in your life to actively take the reins? How often do you say yes to something even though you don’t want to say yes? Are you afraid of looking like the bad guy? Because sometimes we have to be willing to sound selfish when our peace of mind and body are at stake.
So next time someone asks you to do something, or go somewhere, stop and think about whether you really want to hang out, or go to the movies. Then, just open your mouth and say no thank you. And don’t let them wheedle you into it.
Bright blessings and talk to you next time.